State transportation department selling Juneau bridge

Becky BohrerAssociated Press

JUNEAU -- For sale: bridge spanning the scenic Mendenhall River in Juneau. Buyer must agree to remove and preserve the historic structure, named in honor of the Alaska Native Brotherhood.

No sale price is listed for the Brotherhood Bridge but a spokeswoman for the state transportation department, Brenda Hewitt, said bridges in similar situations in other states have gone for as little as $1 or been transferred for free.

She said Tuesday that an evaluation of potential buyers will be based more on their plans to maintain the structure for its historic use than price.

The bridge still comes at a cost: the structure contains lead-based paint, which Hewitt said will have to be removed and treated. Additionally, it will have to be taken apart, moved and reconstructed.

The 319-foot bridge, near a scenic turnout and trail system, was designed by Roy Peratrovich, Jr.

Constructed with steel plate girders, concrete and steel piers and concrete abutments, it fits the criteria needed to seek listing on the National Register of Historic Places, according to a state preservation officer.

The bridge featured 10 bronze medallions, representing the crest of the brotherhood. Those will not go with the new owner, and Hewitt said it's possible that they could be incorporated into the new bridge.

The DOT plans to replace the bridge, built over the Mendenhall River in 1965, with a wider, four-lane bridge with a sidewalk and a multiuse path.

The project, to be advertised next year, is estimated to cost about $19 million, Hewitt said.

Associated Press